Before There Was Mozart by Lesa Cline-Ransome
The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George

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The musical superstar of 18th-century France was Joseph Boulogne—a black man. This inspiring story tells how Joseph, the only child of a black slave and her white master, becomes "the most accomplished man in Europe." After traveling from his native West Indies to study music in Paris, young Joseph is taunted about his skin color. Despite his classmates' cruel words, he continues to devote himself to his violin, eventually becoming conductor of a whole orchestra. Joseph begins composing his own operas, which everyone acknowledges to be magnifique. But will he ever reach his dream of performing for the king and queen of France? This lushly illustrated book by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome introduces us to a talented musician and an overlooked figure in black history.

About Lesa Cline-Ransome

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Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome are the author and illustrator of Satchel Paige, the story of the first black player to pitch in a major league World Series. James is also the illustrator of such titles as Let My People Go by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack and Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson and has received many accolades for his illustrations, including the Coretta Scott King Award and the NAACP Image Award. James and Lesa live with their four children in upstate New York. Visit James at his Web site: James E. Ransome's highly acclaimed illustrations for Let My People Go won the NAACP Image Award. His other award-winning titles include Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell, Deborah Hopkinson's Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, and Satchel Paige, written by his wife, Lesa. Mr. Ransome teaches illustration at Pratt Institute and lives in upstate New York with his family. Visit James at his Web site:
Published November 28, 2012 by Schwartz & Wade. 40 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Arts & Photography.

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In the spirit of their earlier collaboration (Young Pele: Soccer's First Star, 2007) the husband-and-wife team introduce readers to the life of a relative unknown: Joseph Boulogne, often known as "the Black Mozart."

Dec 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Before There Was Mozart: The ...

The Gainesville Sun

Ransome have dusted off an amazing story that even adults can appreciate.Surely, "Before There Was Mozart" can be enjoyed by toddlers — the illustrations are colorful and very little kid-friendly — but children old enough to understand history, classical music, and this tale's significance...

May 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Before There Was Mozart: The ...

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